UK new commercial vehicle production grew for the eleventh consecutive month in November as exports continued to fuel the industry. Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show more than 11,000 commercial vehicles, including vans, buses and trucks, were built on these shores in November.

That figure represents an increase of 42.9 percent compared with the same month in 2021, and the best November for the sector since 2011. It also means UK factories have now produced almost 100,000 new commercial vehicles in the first eleven months of the year – more than were built here during the entirety of 2021.

What’s more, it means commercial vehicle production has increased every month in 2022, as the market recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

First Arrival Van production verification prototype built at microfactory in Bicester, UK

Growth was primarily driven by foreign customers, with demand from abroad rising by almost 90 percent in November. Of the 11,343 vehicles built, 7,990 were destined for foreign roads, meaning exports account for 70 percent of all commercial vehicles built in the UK in November.

However, demand from UK customers faltered, with the number of vehicles built in Britain for British customers down by 9.9 percent. Nevertheless, 3,353 new commercial vehicles were built in the UK for domestic customers – a reduction of less than 400 compared with November 2021.

The figures broadly reflect the performance for other months this year, which have seen exports fuel growth across the board. Almost 97,000 commercial vehicles were built in the UK between January 1 and November 30, with more than 59,000 of those heading abroad. That’s an increase of 72.4 percent compared with the same period in 2021, and it meant 61 percent of all UK-built commercial vehicles were exported.

Domestically, growth was slightly slower, with production up by a healthy 16.2 percent. In total, some 37,600 new commercial vehicles were built for domestic customers during the first 11 months of 2022.

“Yet another month of growth in commercial vehicle output is good news for the wider UK industry and demonstrates how well-placed this critical sector is to supporting the British economy,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes. “A greater contribution is expected next year, but we cannot be complacent. Measures are needed to ensure Britain remains a globally competitive location for production, trade and investment to sustain long-term growth amid a period of complex economic challenges.”